I still have my more sensitive side from time to time. Almost have to, just to keep myself from going crazy with too much humor and start playing with my toes!!

Besides, I can work on a new one shot and 'So Close To Home', if I post these stories inbetween. (And I am working on SCTH, I just have to make up mind which way I want to go first chapter wise. Liberty and Jarrod. McCoy and Smillie. Colonel Halstrom etc.) I mean I have chapters strated but I'm trying to decide which one should be next)

DISC: Nope. Never did. Never have. Never will. Let's face it could anyone be able to afford to hand out that many Christmas bonuses to everyone for Star Trek and Paramount? I can barely afford myself!!


CHRISTMAS WISH

"Daddy."

"What, Sweetheart?"

"Do you think Mom is gonna like it?"

"Of course she will. Your Mother is going to think it's the best present she ever got. Trust me."

"You think?"

"Of course I do. I'm yer Dad and I haven't strayed you too far on too many things have I?"

"Um..."

"Never mind that. But believe when I say yer Mom isn't even going to give all those fancy things Santa brings her a second look when she lay's eyes this little piece of art."

"Why?"

"Because you made it. You made it from your heart and that makes it's the most special present. Well, let's say the second most special present she ever got."

"What was the best present Mom ever got? You?"

"Hardly. There are those times that your Mother thinks I'm the lump of coal she gets in the toe of her stocking, instead of the diamond ring I promised her before we were married."

"Oh. So what was the best gift she ever got?"

"You."

"Ooohh."

"And you want to know a secret?"

"That you keep a bottle of bourbon in your desk that Mom doesn't know about?"

"No. And let's just keep that between ourselves."

"So what's your secret Dad?"

"That you Little Princess, are the absolute greatest present anyone ever gave me for anything. Birthday. Christmas. You name it! You top them all."

"Daddy! Don't be so maudlin."

"Maudlin? Is that one of those words you've been learning at that fancy school of yours?"

"Yep."

"Sounding like your Mother more and more every day."

"Mom says I sound like you."

"Let me guess, she was angry about something you did when she said it."

"Ah...yea."

"Sounds about right."

"She really wasn't that mad Daddy."

Yea...well...You'd better put that pretty little package under the tree and head to bed. The last thing I need the night before Christmas is having Santa and your Mother P.O.ed at me for keeping you up so late. Well, Santa at any rate."

"Thanks for helping Daddy."

"Anytime, Sweetie. That's what Daddy's are here for ya know."

"Daddy."

"What, Sweetie?"

"You'll always be here right? If I had asked Santa in my letter, he'd make sure that we'd always be together, right? And you'd always be here when I needed you. But, especially at Christmas?"

"Er, well honey, I'm sure the old man would do his dam..,er darnedest to do what he could for a request like that. You have to remember that every now and then even Santa has a little trouble with some things asked for even by the nicest little girls and boys."

"But if you told him to, he would, wouldn't he?"

"Well,...Honey it's not that eas...Of course he will. Even if I have to talk to him man to man, so to speak."

"Thank you Daddy! I love you."

"I love you too, sweetie."

"Sickbay to Doctor McCoy."

Returning from his fog of memories, he squinted in the direction of the intercom on his desk. Blinking back the unshed tears, he glanced down at the object in his hands still half covered in dust and released a quiet painful breath. Carefully he raised his hand, replacing the item back in it's rightful place before turning to the intercom.

"McCoy here."

"Sorry for ruining your Christmas Doctor, but one of our security crew's ran into some trouble planet side and we need your assistance."

"I'll be right down."

Flipping off the intercom, he sighed again, trying to ignore the pain that echoed inside of him. After a quick moment of composing he turn to head for the cabin door but sidestepped to the shelf and gave the wooden frame a nudge on one corner then on the other. Satisfied that it was perfect a shadow of regret tinged the small smile that settled on his lips as he gazed the young girls face in the portrait.

"Merry Christmas, Sweetie."

FIN